Farm bill crashes in House: What comes next?

Farm bills typically sail through Congress with little real opposition; not this time.

The House just voted down the five-year $940 billion farm bill. There were 195 yeas and 234 nays. This was unexpected, to say the least. Farm bills typically sail through Congress with little real opposition.

But the farm bill faced a particular dilemma in the House. Most Democrats opposed the House version because it cut spending on food stamps for low-income families by $20.5 billion over the next 10 years. But many conservative Republicans also opposed the bill because it didn’t cut spending enough. Squeezed on both sides, the bill failed.

So what happens next? The White House, recall, had already threatened to veto the House farm bill because of its cuts to food stamps. So the bill wasn’t going to become law regardless. But if the House bill had passed, its supporters could have at least gone to conference and tried to reconcile it with the $955 billion Senate version, which contained much lighter cuts to food-stamps funding.

For more, see The House farm bill fails 195-234. So what happens next?


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